Democrats & Liberals Archives

California is for the Democrats

Richard Bennett writes about a Public Policy Institute of California poll that was released a few days ago. I was at the monthly briefing where they discussed the poll (great free lunch, or is that redundant?) and the President’s job approval rating wasn’t even the topic of the poll. The poll dealt with California’s current budget crisis. So let me list the reasons why I doubt the President will win California in 2004.

First, republicans only make up roughly 20% of California's residence. Of course, that number improves if we only count the likely voters. That means that roughly half of California democrats would need to vote for President Bush if he were to win the state. That is the primary reason I don't think he will win California.

Now, let's look at why the Presidents job approval rating is so high in such a highly democratic state. As Richard Bennett mentioned the state is currently in a sever budget crisis and the Governor is currently going through an unprecedented recall challenge. Also, as is the case in most of the country, I think, republicans have much stronger feelings than do democrats.

Much of the anti-Davis sentiment is helping the President within the state. Once the recall bid is over, which it will be by March 2nd at the latest (on the 2nd by my opinion) I think some of Bush's support will evaporate. Especially if a democrat wins the governorship, if that happens I think many Californian republicans will feel disheartened by the fact that even though they could throw out the governor they couldn't get a member of their party in office. I think that will severely weaken the republican voter turnout in 2004.

When it comes to the intensity of respondents answers I think that it is more likely that a democrat would be willing to say that they think President Bush is doing a fine job yet still not vote for him while I'm fairly sure almost every republican said they think the President is doing a great job and will vote for him. So I think there is a disconnect between job approval rating and the number of votes garnered, at least for the democrats.

In addition to all of this, the recent history of Californian politics will clearly show that the state tends to elect democrats and not republicans. Richard Bennett speaks of Governor Davis' election as a fluke, however, all one needs to do is look at the state's legislature to see that is not the case. Except for a few small areas of the state, such as Orange County, the state is solidly democratic.

Clearly I don't think President Bush has any hope of capturing California in 2004. It seems as if the President's handlers don't think he has a chance in California either, if you take the amount of time the president has spent in California as any indication.

Posted by Grant at June 14, 2003 5:37 PM